What are Games and Gamification?



The games culture has grown to include a substantial proportion of the world’s population, with the age of the average gamer increasing with each passing year. A 2012 survey conducted by the Entertainment Software Association showed that the age demographic of game players in the U.S. is split in almost equal thirds with people ages 18-35 representing 31% of gamers, along with roughly equal proportions among those younger than 18 and those older than 35. As tablets and smartphones have proliferated, desktop and laptop computers, television sets, and gaming consoles are no longer the only way to connect with competitors online, making game-play a portable activity that can happen in a diverse array of settings. Game play has long moved on from simply recreation and has found considerable traction in the worlds of commerce, productivity, and education as a useful (and engaging) training and motivation tool. While a growing number of educational institutions and programs are experimenting with game-play, there has also been increased attention surrounding gamification — the integration of gaming elements, mechanics, and frameworks into non-game situations and scenarios. Businesses have embraced gamification as a way to design incentive programs that engage employees through rewards, leader boards, and badges, often with a mobile component. Although more nascent than in military or industry settings, the gamification of education is gaining support among researchers and educators who recognize that it is well established that effectively designed games can stimulate large gains in productivity and creativity among learners.

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Please "sign" your contributions by marking with the code of 4 tildes (~) in a row so that we can follow up with you if we need additional information or leads to examples- this produces a signature when the page is updated, like this: - Larry Larry Feb 7, 2012

I just noticed there two similar pages. I transferred my comments here.

(1) How might this technology be relevant to the educational sector you know best?

  • Simulations have already found their place in STEM education and practice. Games provide a way to structure learning around simulations, simulated worlds, and problems embedded within those environments. Games are already finding acceptance at the secondary school level. Higher education seems slower to respond, perhaps because games are not "serious" work. But that attitude is changing. - klopfer klopfer Aug 21, 2013
  • MOOCs also are including gamification artifacts (not necessarily virtual games) into practice to enhance motivation, participation and collaboration among learners, special interest in the large learning groups. - roc roc Sep 2, 2013
  • There's an explosion right now around games and education - and it's a perfect fit for STEM+. Just look at ISTE conference sessions, the keynote by Jane McGonigal, upcoming SXSW Edu programming, publications, and TED Talks. Here are additional resources related to gaming in education http://www.brainpop.com/educators/community/whygames/ - kstubbs kstubbs Aug 28, 2013
  • gaming and to compete are kind fo natural things; especially kids love it and it is motivating thus to be applicable to attract more attention on STEM topics - Christian.Guetl Christian.Guetl Aug 31, 2013 agree - roc roc Sep 2, 2013
  • add your response here

(2) What themes are missing from the above description that you think are important?

  • I feel like gamification should be separated from games. My above comment about games being based on simulations and the relevance to STEM education is not true of gamification (which I think is a counterproductive approach). - klopfer klopfer Aug 21, 2013
  • I 100% agree that I'd like to challenge us to separate games from gamification, and have argued as such on the K12 board. ;-) It would make more sense to delve into game play and game creation, game play within core content, game play as connected to CCSS, etc. - kstubbs kstubbs Aug 28, 2013
  • In the past, and maybe it's still present, there was an adoption of textbooks committee. Today, I/we need a screening device/committee that can share 'games that work and are effective in the classroom.' Trying to locate these games eats into the currency of time. - michael.lambert michael.lambert Aug 31, 2013
  • It is important to note that the use of simulation in teaching in STEM has a long history. They are derived from the models generated from the research in the field. Games can add a new element of providing the scenario around these simulations that add the elements of realism that can make a numerical simulation interesting. - alanwolf alanwolf Sep 2, 2013
  • I think it is also important to quote Dr. Box, "Remember that all models are wrong; the practical question is how wrong do they have to be to not be useful." When using games to teach, we must also teach the limitations of the models that underlie them, and more importantly that these models can and do frequently change, sometimes incrementally, sometimes by being entirely replaced with a new model.- alanwolf alanwolf Sep 2, 2013

(3) What do you see as the potential impact of this technology on STEM+ education?

  • As people rethink what online learning is (not just transporting face to face learning into an online delivery platform), games are likely to become a bigger part of STEM learning in both online and hybrid environments.- klopfer klopfer Aug 21, 2013
  • Games allow learners to APPLY their STEM understanding in a safe environment where failures are accepted and lead to increased success, learners receive just-in-time performance nudges, and assessment/evaluations leads to greater challenge/reward. - kstubbs kstubbs Aug 28, 2013 agree - Christian.Guetl Christian.Guetl Aug 31, 2013
  • Games allow for 'safe' failure and obviously, motivate the learner to take risks. The immediate feedback coupled with reward design allow students to accelerate their learning. Gaming is a 24/7 environment, not a 8-3pm venue. - michael.lambert michael.lambert Aug 31, 2013
  • Games offer several features of value in STEM education - driving interest in STEM fields, contextualizing STEM methodologies in true to life scenarios, offering citizen science opportunities (e.g. FoldIt), providing practice to learners to master procedural skills outside of physical activities (wet labs).- alanwolf alanwolf Sep 2, 2013

(4) Do you have or know of a project working in this area?

  • We are currently building an MMO, known as The Radix Endeavor, for high school biology and math. We already have teachers coming from purely virtual schools and traditional schools as well. Launching this fall.- klopfer klopfer Aug 21, 2013
  • One project specifically related to STEM is the STEM Game Challenge http://stemchallenge.org/ It challenges students (and adults) to develop games that teach core STEM content. - kstubbs kstubbs Aug 28, 2013
  • Another project in this area is the BrainPOP GameUp (www.brainpop.com/games) games portal that is the result of partnerships with trusted game developers like iCivics, Filament Games, Nobelprize.org®, Mangahigh, JASON Project, NCTM, MIT Education Arcade, Space Science Institute, Maryland Public Television, University of Washington, Michigan State University Gel Lab, E-Line Media, LGN, PlayPower Foundation, Sheppard Software, and Generation Cures at Children’s Hospital Boston. It's had over a million hours of game play each year, since it's launch 2 1/2 years ago. - kstubbs kstubbs Aug 28, 2013
  • The Joan Ganz Cooney Center at Sesame Workshop has been researching teacher perceptions surrounding the use of games in the classroom. Here's a link to the results. http://www.brainpop.com/new_common_images/files/12/128042_jgcc_teacher_survey.pdf - kstubbs kstubbs Aug 28, 2013
  • Here is a great collection of discussions around game based learning out of the Microsoft Partners in Learning group http://www.pil-network.com/HotTopics/gamesbasedlearning - kstubbs kstubbs Aug 28, 2013
  • e.g. in my master course "Information Search and Retreival" we will apply gamification approaches begining this winter semester - Christian.Guetl Christian.Guetl Aug 31, 2013
  • MOOCs in our institution are doing gamification approaches. http://telescopio.galileo.edu/ - roc roc Sep 2, 2013
  • We all know this one...but sometimes need a reminder; it's good: http://education.mit.edu/projects - michael.lambert michael.lambert Aug 31, 2013
  • The Games+Learning+Society group, affiliated with the Wisconsin Institute for Discovery has been working on a series of games for STEM education http://www.gameslearningsociety.org/games.php. - alanwolf alanwolf Sep 2, 2013

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